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Old 02-17-2013, 04:52 PM   #61
JerryH
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I have 3 scooters now. I'd have to say the Zuma 125 is my favorite for traveling, and running around town when I want a low effort ride. The Genuine Stella is by far the best when you just want to gave fun, with it's 150cc 2 stroke engine, manual transmission and clutch, and vintage Vespa looks and feel. The Vino 125 mostly just sits there now, since I got the Zuma, but it has been ridden, it has over 24,000 miles on it.

About finding the perfect bike, my Kawasaki Vulcan 750 is it. I have bought 2 new ones, and put 160,000 miles on both of them together. I would love to have another, but they no longer make them. You get almost Goldwing comfort with a MUCH smaller bike, easily does 80 mph all day, and gets 50+ mpg while doing it. 1000 mile days are not that bad.
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Old 02-17-2013, 05:23 PM   #62
Scott_F
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Originally Posted by quasigentrified View Post
also, riding context and your local environment is EVERYTHING.

when i got into riding a couple years ago (i am a n00b), i THOUGHT i wanted to quickly get up into the big cruisers. however! i live in a BIG CITY! riding a bike over 500 lbs SUCKS at parade speeds, or when you have seattle's many hills, alleys, one-way streets, and general traffic cluster-effs. i started on a cbr250 and that was fun, but after awhile, i realized i spent most of my commute time in the low gears, diddling the brake lever and cramping on the clutch. i picked up an sh150i scoot on the side, and I WAS HAVING HUGE FUN -- so much so that i wasn't really into the cbr250 except on the occasional weekend when i could hit the slab and terrify myself for shits and giggles. (oh, i-5 through downtown. hey, i had to man up somehow.)

anyway, a coworker told me about honda's auto bikes, and i test rode the nc700x dct (also tried the manual) -- and i kinda, uh, hated it on account of the high seat and the top-heaviness. (i was used to hunching over the cbr250 and feeling like a little buzzing bullet.) however, a dude at the dealership pointed out the mana 850, and i signed up for the aprilia test ride day -- and drove off with one the next day. despite the terror of a part failure and the expense that comes with owning an ape, i have loved the SH*T out of it. yeah, yeah, cvt, not a real bike, go home scootboy, blah blah blah -- if you can keep your clutch hand intact day in day out on queen anne or when you hit eastside stop-and-go, you can mock me. (everyone else can shut their pieholes.) the mana has a nice middle distribution of weight, and while it's 90 lbs fatter wet than the cbr250, it handles the slab like such a champ -- and the seat is a nice 31-ish inches for a not-quite 6 foot chump like me.

that said, it's still pretty heavy for endless hill parking and the crappy parking lots of downtown seattle. the sh150i was great but riding the mana all the time made me want a scoot with more guts, so i traded it in for a sportcity 250 on an impulse when the dealer was doing those great incentive deals on oh-nine's last year, and it is PERFECT for me. in town, i am a holy terror on it, since it has the agility in the urban jungle that the mana lacks (i dumped the mana once thinking i was on a scooter -- at least a clutch kept a clear mental differentiator!), plus my launchpad is small and uphill and sometimes, i just don't wanna do the little dance of doom that gets the mana into proper take off position from my crappy garage and moss-caked death driveway JUST to grab groceries or visit a neighbor.

i don't think a big cruiser is for me until we decide to move somewhere that's less urban, or until my skills in maneuvering a 700 pound monster at low speed improve dramatically. (i'm a fit late 30's dude, and i have no idea how some you older gents and ladies manhandle those litre-plus bimmers and tank-sized harleys around like you do!) BUT I DREAM
More good advice. My own opinion, big bikes belong on the highway, not the street. I love riding my V-Star, but it is 700 lbs and a pig to ride in rush hour. I'd much rather ride my Burgman, but then I am used to hefting a 700 lb bike around. Calgary traffic depends on 50 mph freeways that make riding a 125 Vino hazardous, but we still ride it on local errands. It is just so convenient! My son has a Scarabeo 200 which can certainly handle the freeway, but that bike has very little storage, limiting its utility. Still, its a much better bike for commuting than a big fat cruiser.

There is no worse fate that sitting in bumper-to-bumper traffic, surrounded by fumes, working the clutch to get up a long hill, ten feet at a time. A scooter makes it more bearable, but it's still no fun. Toss in inclement weather, rude or incompetent drivers, and I'd rather be safe in my cage where it is warm and safe and I have good tunes to make the trek more tolerable. That's just my opinion. I have only been riding for four years, but that is long enough to learn that traffic and motorcycles are not the best combination.

Back to the original post: riding two-up is a serious business. It requires a suitable bike and a rider (and passenger) with experience. I don't like carrying passenger, but I have. I put them on the V-Star, which is a full-size cruiser with a proper passenger seat, sissy bar and footboards to be able to do so safely.

When we started riding, my wife was happy to hang on and we putted around on our little 125 Vino. Six weeks later I got her a Vino of her own. Ever since then she refuses to ride as a passenger. The next year spring we bought a pair of Burgmans, and haven't looked back.

Yes, the Burgman is big and fat and hard to handle at very low speeds. Yes she has dropped it, more than once, usually when she is standing still. The first time was a catastrophe, oh no! what have I done, woe! But so what. A few scratches make no difference. BTW, three seasons and 30,000 km later, she doesn't drop it anymore. She is 5'6, 130 lbs, smaller than most riders, but she handles it as well as I do now.

My suggestion is to take her to Victoria. You can rent 50cc scooters there and you can both zoom around on them. They are very easy to ride, and she may decide that she would rather ride her own than sit on back. If so, you can look at a mid-size scooter, 300 or 400cc. A Burgman 400 doesn't have the features of the Exec, but it is still more than enough to cruise comfortably from Edmonton to Jasper or to do the loop from Edmonton to Drayton, Rocky, Red Deer and back. That's a very nice ride.

Anyway, you've had some very good advice from posters who have responded in this thread. There are lots of ways to go, but now you have a better idea.

And BTW, people who make fun of scooters are not worth worrying about. They don't know what they're missing. Eventually, you will start to feel sorry for them.

Regards
Scott Fraser
Calgary
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Old 02-17-2013, 06:48 PM   #63
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I have a Burgman 650 now (they are all executives now) and had a Piaggio MP3 500 before that.. I started riding at 60..and it never occurred tome that people were laughing at me.. I thought the smiles I got were just people that envied me.. I find a scooter with some power will work just fine.. I put 6,000 miles on my Piaggio in 2 seasons and 4,000 miles on my Burgman last summer.. no issues and enjoyed all of them..

If You get over people laughing at you consider a Can Am.. they'll cruise at 95 all day and come with all of the bells & whistles..
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Old 02-17-2013, 09:37 PM   #64
JerryH
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Originally Posted by Scott_F View Post
More good advice. My own opinion, big bikes belong on the highway, not the street. I love riding my V-Star, but it is 700 lbs and a pig to ride in rush hour. I'd much rather ride my Burgman, but then I am used to hefting a 700 lb bike around. Calgary traffic depends on 50 mph freeways that make riding a 125 Vino hazardous, but we still ride it on local errands. It is just so convenient! My son has a Scarabeo 200 which can certainly handle the freeway, but that bike has very little storage, limiting its utility. Still, its a much better bike for commuting than a big fat cruiser.

There is no worse fate that sitting in bumper-to-bumper traffic, surrounded by fumes, working the clutch to get up a long hill, ten feet at a time. A scooter makes it more bearable, but it's still no fun. Toss in inclement weather, rude or incompetent drivers, and I'd rather be safe in my cage where it is warm and safe and I have good tunes to make the trek more tolerable. That's just my opinion. I have only been riding for four years, but that is long enough to learn that traffic and motorcycles are not the best combination.

Back to the original post: riding two-up is a serious business. It requires a suitable bike and a rider (and passenger) with experience. I don't like carrying passenger, but I have. I put them on the V-Star, which is a full-size cruiser with a proper passenger seat, sissy bar and footboards to be able to do so safely.

When we started riding, my wife was happy to hang on and we putted around on our little 125 Vino. Six weeks later I got her a Vino of her own. Ever since then she refuses to ride as a passenger. The next year spring we bought a pair of Burgmans, and haven't looked back.

Yes, the Burgman is big and fat and hard to handle at very low speeds. Yes she has dropped it, more than once, usually when she is standing still. The first time was a catastrophe, oh no! what have I done, woe! But so what. A few scratches make no difference. BTW, three seasons and 30,000 km later, she doesn't drop it anymore. She is 5'6, 130 lbs, smaller than most riders, but she handles it as well as I do now.

My suggestion is to take her to Victoria. You can rent 50cc scooters there and you can both zoom around on them. They are very easy to ride, and she may decide that she would rather ride her own than sit on back. If so, you can look at a mid-size scooter, 300 or 400cc. A Burgman 400 doesn't have the features of the Exec, but it is still more than enough to cruise comfortably from Edmonton to Jasper or to do the loop from Edmonton to Drayton, Rocky, Red Deer and back. That's a very nice ride.

Anyway, you've had some very good advice from posters who have responded in this thread. There are lots of ways to go, but now you have a better idea.

And BTW, people who make fun of scooters are not worth worrying about. They don't know what they're missing. Eventually, you will start to feel sorry for them.

Regards
Scott Fraser
Calgary

Traffic and motorcycles are all to often a deadly combination. I will not ride ANY bike in bumper to bumper stop and go traffic on freeways. It's only a matter of time before the cell phone addled idiot in the vehicle behind you runs over you, and you get crushed between them and the vehicle in front of you. It also wears out clutches and brakes in a hurry.
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Old 02-17-2013, 10:15 PM   #65
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Originally Posted by JerryH View Post
Traffic and motorcycles are all to often a deadly combination. I will not ride ANY bike in bumper to bumper stop and go traffic on freeways. It's only a matter of time before the cell phone addled idiot in the vehicle behind you runs over you, and you get crushed between them and the vehicle in front of you. It also wears out clutches and brakes in a hurry.
this is my nightmare scenario, and why i stay off the two big arterial freeways during peak hours. wa drivers are tech-addled, panicky, easily distracted morons.
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Old 02-18-2013, 01:49 AM   #66
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I hope I live long enough (and earn enough) to get me one of these. Talk about blurring the line between motorcycle, car and AIRPLANE: motorcycle engine, sound and smell, wind in your face, killer looks combined with seating accommodations more inviting from a passenger's perspective. Only $50,000 and a two year wait. It's a Morgan 3 Wheeler that uses a 2000cc Harley sourced engine and a slick shifting gearbox sourced from Mazda's MX-5. Being an MX-5 owner, I appreciate what this means. The "cockpit" is airplane-like as is the overall look of this smile-inducing-fun-factory-on-wheels. God I want one. But even if I had one, I would still ride my Honda C70 and my 2-stroke Aero 80. And I would still be Jonesing for a "shifty" Vespa P200, the latest offerings from Honda, BMW, Aprillia, etc etc. No one vehicle (car, bike, scooter, 3 wheeler) can "do it all." Just ask Jay Leno. I think it would be great if the Morgan 3 Wheeler was available for rent. Fly down to the southern US, rent one for a week. That would make for a great holiday.


klx250sfguy screwed with this post 02-18-2013 at 02:16 AM
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Old 02-18-2013, 02:27 AM   #67
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In response to ScottF, your suggestion of going to Victoria and renting a couple of scooters really resonated with me. That is EXACTLY how I got hooked on two wheels: Victoria BC, summer of 1990, a buddy and I rented a pair of Honda Sprees. I will never forget the fun we had bombing around on those little pip-squeaks. Here's a pic of a much younger and thinner (and fuller head of hair) Klx250sfguy on "the bike that started it all."

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Old 02-18-2013, 09:33 AM   #68
larrylarry75
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Originally Posted by quasigentrified View Post
this is my nightmare scenario, and why i stay off the two big arterial freeways during peak hours. wa drivers are tech-addled, panicky, easily distracted morons.
I admit traffic snarls on a daily commute wouldn't be my choice for scooter riding either, at least not on one of the little guys. I'm comfortable on either one of my scoots but they're 250 and 500 cc machines with enough power to keep up with any traffic.

Touring on the other hand is a blast; for me the back roads are far and away the most fun but often in order to get there you need to deal with traffic first. If doing so makes you uncomfortable to the point of panic I'd say don't go there, but if it's only for a short time/distance you'll be alright if you pay attention and avoid rush hours.

I'm curious, don't the riding schools help students learn to deal with this or do they simply focus on staying upright and riding around pylons? No slur of these courses is intended, I'd expect pylon riding is used to help develop turning skills, balance, etc. I know for motorcycles there are a lot of advanced riding schools too, many of which focus on track riding but I'd think there are some aimed at developing skills for ordinary riding? I'm so damned old that when I started riding schools like these didn't exist so I've never attended one. I'd hope they include riding in traffic as part of their curriculum.

LL75
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Old 02-18-2013, 11:21 AM   #69
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I took the MSF basic course in October. Very little of it dealt with traffic; a little during the one night class, less during the riding portion. It mostly focussed on balance, turns and stops.
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Old 02-18-2013, 12:31 PM   #70
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The MSF Basic Riders course, required by many states to get a new motorcycle license is just that - basic. It includes gear shifting (most are taken on motorcycles), quick braking, going around cones at various spacing intervals, figure 8s in a confined area, staying within relatively narrow set of circles, quick turns and stops. A motorcycle or scooter is provided for you to take the course on. There is also an Advanced Riders course which has more to do with the items you asked about and improving your skills. You must provide your own ride for that class which is on both a closed course and open road. Plus there is a group riding course which our local scooter group United Scooter Riders had taught by one of the big local motorcycle/power sports dealers at no charge by one of the dealership's instructors. There maybe other courses available as well but those are the ones I know about.
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Old 02-18-2013, 02:29 PM   #71
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I took the MSF basic course in October. Very little of it dealt with traffic; a little during the one night class, less during the riding portion. It mostly focussed on balance, turns and stops.
My experience as well. The course is focused on teaching a new rider how to control the motorcycle. There is an evening class that discusses traffic, among many other things, but other than that the time is spent on a lot, with pylons and lines and obstacles and so on. "This is the clutch..." It is an excellent course and should be mandatory for anyone just starting out.

Traffic conditions vary widely from one place to another. Most of us suffer life in the city, most all of which are choked with cars. In Alberta, where Darren and I live, it is a very hostile environment. People drive too fast, they tailgate, and they are very aggressive in how they drive. They don't pay attention. They don't look for motorcycles so they don't see them. Too many of them are just plain incompetent, untrained, unaware of even the basics of how to drive. The licensing requirements for an ordinary car license are so slack they are ludicrous. It's a war zone out there and it is up to ME to keep myself alive. That's the bottom line.

Back to the original question... No, Darren, your not missing a damned thing. A scooter IS a motorcycle. It is just as dangerous on a scooter. Gear is just as important. Riding within your limits matters just as much. Knowing your vehicle and it's limits is just as important. Deer don't care if you have a clutch, and there are lots of deer on the road around here. Make no mistake. A scooter is just as dangerous as a motorcycle because it IS a motorcycle.

As for the rest of it, I love my scooter. It will be the last bike I sell. I love the others, too, but the Burgman is just the most practical, and the most comfortable. It just is. People don't make fun of me. They come up to ask what it is. They are amazed that I can put a five-gallon jerry can in the trunk and take it down the road at 100 mph (not that I do).
Other riders might scoff at it, but only until they see it in action. There are lots of converts on the Burgman forum, people who once rode Harleys and Goldwings and who now ride scooters. They do the job so well, its hard to consider choosing any other bike, any other motorcycle. :-)

Anyway, carry on. I've seen a couple of low-mileage Burgmans in the showroom and on kijiji for around $6000, not bad for what it is. A similar sized cruiser will be as much or more. In fact, check this one out in Wainwright.

Regardless of what you ride, ridde safe.
Scott Fraser
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Old 02-18-2013, 04:30 PM   #72
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I am new to riding and am trying to figure out what to ride. I have seen the threads about working your way up through the cc's just to go from larger to smaller bikes as you get older. Being 50 I guess my need for speed differs from that of a 20 year old. I never really considered a scooter until I came across some forums dedicated to scooter riding. I want to be able to do long distance touring with my wife and so am looking at the Burgman 650 executive. But then my wife might want her own so would look at the 400 or 300's. Obviously want something that can easily do highway speeds.

I guess am I going to be missing something if I go straight to a scooter and not get a motorcycle? Should I get a motorcycle, experience that then get a scooter if I still want one? Or should I just get one off the bat and not worry about the laughs and looks people on scooters get from the motorcycle crowd. I know there are people who have ridden motorcycles then switched to scooters, or ride both so looking for their advice.

Thanks
Darren
if you want a scooter get a scooter. if long distance touring is in order a 650 is beneficial. especially two up. when motorcyclist laugh at you, laugh back. and point, too. but tbh those kinds of things don't happen too often, if at all. most motorcyclists understand scooters. the ones who don't ride for dumb reasons, among other reasons. but dumb is some of those reasons, most likely. don't worry about all that

just consider the speed and power you might need for your travels and get enough bike to sustain a good cruising speed with some room to spare. if a 650 isn't enough, get a mc i suppose

i started riding at 45. i ride small scooters. you're good to go

edit: skimming the thread i see its taken off. so yeah, learn how to ride well enough before your travels
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Old 02-18-2013, 05:10 PM   #73
DarthJ
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While I love my Shadow and will be purchasing a Victory in the future, scoots are always awesome things. In fact, I plan to have a Victory Cross Country Tour and right next to it in the garage, a Honda Helix for a project and eventually, in-town runabout.

So, ride what you want, 2 wheels is 2 wheels. Though I will say get it delivered if you can and practice, practice, practice. If I see ya, I'll wave.
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Old 02-18-2013, 06:11 PM   #74
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Wow! 72 replies and the original poster hasn't checked back in to thank anyone for their time and effort!

Hope he is still around.

PS - he posted the exact same question on Maxi-Scoot and one other forum (I think the Silverwing forum) too.
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Old 02-20-2013, 02:43 PM   #75
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I am new to riding and am trying to figure out what to ride. I have seen the threads about working your way up through the cc's just to go from larger to smaller bikes as you get older. Being 50 I guess my need for speed differs from that of a 20 year old. I never really considered a scooter until I came across some forums dedicated to scooter riding. I want to be able to do long distance touring with my wife and so am looking at the Burgman 650 executive. But then my wife might want her own so would look at the 400 or 300's. Obviously want something that can easily do highway speeds.

I guess am I going to be missing something if I go straight to a scooter and not get a motorcycle? Should I get a motorcycle, experience that then get a scooter if I still want one? Or should I just get one off the bat and not worry about the laughs and looks people on scooters get from the motorcycle crowd. I know there are people who have ridden motorcycles then switched to scooters, or ride both so looking for their advice.

Thanks
Darren
One night I was shopping at Safeway and got a little carried away; I wasn't thinking about the scoot. I had quite a pile of bags but I did manage to get squared away. The Diet Coke and the milk and ice-cream fit under the seat and the lighter stuff stuff between my knees on the Citycom's grocery hook.

An older Harley guy (well, older than me LOL) came running over and said" I was wondering how you were going to do that. What kind of scooter is that?
I've never seen one like it. I like the look of it." It's a big wheel SYM Citycom 300i.......

Well it turned out that he had bought a Burgman for his wife to ride and was having so much fun with it, that he was the one putting most of the miles on it.

So will you be missing much with a scoot? Only the shifting.
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